Ole Miss Takes Series Over Arkansas
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Eighth-ranked Arkansas and 21st-ranked Ole Miss traded leads four times Sunday afternoon in the rubber match at Baum-Walker Stadium, but it was the Rebels that scored six-straight runs in the sixth and seventh innings to beat the Razorbacks, 10-5, earning the series victory.
The series loss breaks a streak of 18-straight home series losses the Razorbacks have had dating back to April of 2017. The last home series loss came against Ole Miss (April 27-28), which was the last time the Rebels visited Baum-Walker Stadium.
Arkansas (22-6, 6-3 SEC) had struggles on the pitching staff as they combined for 12 walks in the game. It’s the second time this season the pitchers have walked 12 or more batters in a game, both were losses (14 at No. 9 Texas – March 20).
Ole Miss (20-9, 5-4 SEC) had its leadoff batter reach base in every inning but the first and put the pressure on the Razorback arms early. Redshirt junior Cody Scroggins worked his way out of a few jams early on for Arkansas, giving up just two runs over four innings, one being a home run. However, once the bullpen took over, the Rebels were able to put 14 runners on base over the next three innings, scoring eight times and build their lead to five.
Arkansas’ offense responded well early on when it scored twice in the fourth and three times in the fifth to take its only lead of the game at 5-4. Junior Dominic Fletcher drove in two of the Hogs’ runs with a single in the fourth and a double down the left field line in the fifth. He finished the game 2-for-4 and had five hits in the series, three being doubles.
Fletcher now has 14 doubles this year, which is already two less than he had all of last year. His total also ties for the most in the SEC.
Sophomore Casey Martin provided the only other runs for the Razorbacks in the fifth when he hit his team-leading sixth home run of the year, a two-run blast that tied the game at 4-4. Martin has two home runs in his last five games and is batting .323 over his last seven games with three multi-hit performances. He went 6-for-13 (.462) in the series against Ole Miss and has a six-game hitting streak.
Along with Martin and Fletcher, Heston Kjerstad, Jack Kenley and Christian Franklin all had two hits in the game. Kjerstad was held hitless in the series until a single in the fourth inning of Sunday’s game. Kenley has three hits in his last seven at-bats, while Franklin turned in his first multi-hit game since March 19 at No. 9 Texas.
“We didn’t give ourselves a chance to win the game. I mean, we walked double digits and hit a couple. We fought back in the game and flipped around the momentum, took the lead 5-4 and come out and walk the leadoff man on four pitches – I think they get a hit, I don’t know what happened after that. Next thing you know they score three. We’re down a couple runs. Give them (Ole Miss) credit, they’ve got a good lineup, but you’ve got to make people earn it, you know. I’d rather them have 20 hits than 14 hits and take away 10 of those walks. I can live with that. It’s not throwing the ball over the plate that really made a difference in the game.” – Head coach Dave Van Horn on the 10-5 loss to Ole Miss
“Just talked about paying attention to details. All the little things, like holding runners. Keeping on runners and just throwing the ball over the plate. Make an adjustment. We’re going to make some adjustments, maybe on who travels. If guys can’t throw it over the plate, we’ll give some other guys opportunities. Little things like that.” – Head coach Dave on his message to the team after the game
“It’s just baseball. You are going to have days when the pitching staff is just not going to be there and we are going to have days where the hitters can’t hit, but today our hitters did a phenomenal job of keeping us in that ballgame, for sure.” – Cody Scroggins on the way things snowball when pitchers are hitting their spots
“Take away some positives from the day, learn from the negatives. That will take you a long way. You learn more from when you lose. Coach (Van Horn) kind of said that and he’s 100 percent right. So take away positives from the day and learn from the negatives.” – Casey Martin on the players’ message to each other
Arkansas hits the field again on Tuesday against the Little Rock Trojans with first pitch set for 6:30 p.m. at Baum-Walker Stadium. This will be the first meeting ever between the two programs in their histories. The game will be televised on SEC Network+.
For more information on Razorback Baseball, follow @RazorbackBSB on Twitter.